Heart Is The Most Important Ingredient

SSC1661 2022-06-03

Track List

Krescendo - 4:13
Heart - 6:12
The Good Life - 5:08
Most - 6:43
Taken - 2:44
Granted - 3:58
Desire - 5:11
Departure - 4:03
Ingredient - 3:34
Dreams In Music - 4:33


Álvaro Torres - piano
Joel Illerhag - double bass
Kresten Osgood - drums

Years of study and travel are blessings not afforded to many. It is precious when the results of these blessings are channeled by an artist into genuine and heartfelt statements. For pianist/composer Álvaro Torres, globetrotting and absorbing musical information from around the world has led him to the root of music’s importance to him, namely emotional expression. Torres’s new recording, Heart Is The Most Important Ingredient, provides a perfect example of the pianist’s affecting art.

Torres began his classical piano study early in his hometown of Madrid, Spain. As a teenager, he discovered jazz and improvisation. After graduating from the Centro Integrado de Música Padre Antonio Soler, Torres moved to Nepal where he studied Hindustani music and taught at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory. He then went to Barcelona where he studied at the Conservatori del Liceu, staying in Barcelona for six years.

An exchange program allowed Torres to attend the University of North Texas, and a European Jazz Masters program, through an AIE scholarship, provided a six month stay in Copenhagen, Denmark. Though Torres discovered free improvisation in Barcelona, it was in Copenhagen that he met drummer and scene booster Kresten Osgood. The ever-busy Osgood introduced Torres to an incredibly active and creative improvisation scene and opened the pianist’s eyes to a number of different musical philosophies and practices.

The sound Torres’s had been trying to cultivate really began to come together in Copenhagen. The pianist had been negotiating his shared interests in classical music, jazz and improvised music. In 2019, Torres released a trio recording, Specious Present, that was a tribute to the music of Paul and Carla Bley, utilizing brief compositional ideas to build improvisations around.

In Copenhagen, Torres recruited Osgood and Swedish bassist/inventor Joel Illerhag to record a collection of loose tunes and improvisations in January 2020. The work that the trio put down shows the evolution of Torres’s music, stylistically and emotionally. Amazed at the quick absorption of his music by the Scandinavian rhythm section, Torres trusted them to provide fresh points of view for his compositions without unnecessary direction.